Woman in Black writer backs Liverpool coffee shop supporting homeless
3 months ago
The cast and writer of ghost story Woman In Black which is on now at the Playhouse, are lending their support to Liverpool’s Paper Cup Coffee café, supporting homeless people in the city.
Woman in Black is leaving audiences on the edge of their seats at the Playhouse this Christmas, getting rave reviews from audiences and critics.
And the writer of the original gothic horror novel, Dame Susan Hill, has taken the opportunity of a Liverpool run to help raise awareness of Paper Cup Coffee and its work.
She has placed a full page advert in the show’s programme, encouraging theatregoers to try the café in nearby Queen Square and to pay it forward by buying food or a hot drink which can then be redeemed by a homeless customer.
The cast will also be visiting on Thursday December 14 at 11.30am to meet the staff and benefactors, and spread the word.
Michelle Langan, founder of The Paper Cup Project which runs Paper Cup Coffee, says they’ve been grateful for Dame Susan’s support in different ways over the past year.
“She is a good friend of our patron, actor Andrew Lancel, so I think she found out about the charity through him, started following us on Twitter and liked what we were doing,” Michelle explains.
“She messaged us a few months ago to say that the show was coming to Liverpool and that she would like to take out an advert in the programme because she wanted to help get the word out more about our coffee shop to try and get more people in.
“It was really kind of her to think of us and this isn’t the first time she’s helped us out. When we were broken into she paid towards getting the windows replaced, and she’s also made donations to our pay it forward when we’ve been running low. Sometimes we have to do a shout out and say we don’t have many pay it forwards left, and Susan will message and offer to do some.
“Even though we’ve never met her, we do think of her as a very close friend of the charity.
“Being mentioned in the programme will hopefully bring in some new customers who’ve never tried us before because they’ll see the advert and think, if Susan’s a supporter, I might go there.
“And we’re only just over the road from the Playhouse so if they’re going to a matinee, they could come in for lunch and a coffee.”
Michelle says Christmas can be a particularly sad and difficult time for anyone who is experiencing homelessness because it highlights having no home or family around them.
Paper Cup Coffee is doing a festive gift appeal again this year, inviting customers to pay £5 or £10 for a Christmas present which is then bought, wrapped up, and handed out in the shop just before Christmas to homeless customers.
Next week it will also be opening up the café after hours to host a Christmas dinner for homeless customers in partnership with the Big Help Project.
“The presents are just a small thing, it could be chocolates or gloves or a hat, but they do mean a lot,” adds Michelle. “Last year when we gave them out one of the guys came back after the New Year and told us he couldn’t speak when he picked his up because he got so emotional, it was the first present he’d had in five years.
“He was saying how much he appreciated it because even though it’s something small, when you’re literally getting nothing else at all, to know that somebody has thought of you and wanted to get something for you makes a difference.
“It makes people feel like they’re worth something when lot of the time they’re used to just not being bothered about at all.”